No it's not. They have to do it with the cash available in the US unless they want to pay taxes on the cash over seas. They have to account for how much the dividend and buyback will cost them along with any US investments.
It's simply supply/demand. Reducing the available shares increases the EPS (earnings per share) and reduces the multiple the stock trades at PE (price to earnings) making the stock a better value. It guarantees nothing though, just look at msft. They have spent a fortune on stock buybacks and the stock has done nothing.
This stupidity always comes up. First, Apple products costs too much, hence the "Apple tax". But, Apple shouldn't use cheap labor in China. Raise of hands of the haters on here. Who is willing to pay $1200 for an iPad so it can be produced here in the USA? I didn't think so...... move along now.
It always amazes me how no matter what the circumstances, Apple is the bad guy. Apple isn't suppose to do anything to protect it's IP or protect itself from litigation over patents it probably owns. Kodak stopped innovating and now the company will die. It's unfortunate, but it's not Apple's fault.
See, it's not that difficult MOT...... just design your own crap and everyone will be happy. Companies have gotten so lazy. It's easier to wait for the litigation rather than actually do some development.
LOL, We have been hearing about this "fear" Apple should have for years. Microsoft's last shot is Nokia and I'll bet Android and RIM will be the ones that would take a hit. If and that's a big IF, WM gains any traction.